Richard Conroy at the centre of another investor dispute

Karelian Diamonds has received demand to hold an emergency general meeting

Irish businessman Richard Conroy is at the centre of another investor dispute. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Irish businessman Richard Conroy is at the centre of another investor dispute. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

Irish businessman Richard Conroy is at the centre of another investor dispute after shareholders in London-listed explorer Karelian Diamonds made a move to have him removed from the board.

Karelian disclosed to the London Stock Exchange that it had received a document with a demand for an extraordinary general meeting of the company.

The purpose of the egm would be to remove Mr Conroy and a number of other directors from the board. Mr Conroy is the company’s chairman.

“The stated objects of the document are to remove the following directors of the company – Richard Conroy, Maureen Jones, Séamus FitzPatrick, Dr Sorca Conroy and Louis J Maguire – and to appoint Alan Osborne, Stephen Grimmer, Martin Doyle and Kevin Taylor as directors,” said Karelian.

“The board has been in communication with certain of the authors of the document and have previously communicated to them that they do not believe the proposed change of board is in the interests of company’s shareholders as a whole.”

The company said its lawyers had advised that the document, dated May 29th and delivered to its office, did not constitute a valid egm demand. However, it said the company expects a valid egm demand will be received at some point.

Should a valid demand be received, a further announcement will be made and a circular to shareholders and notice of an egm would be prepared, the company said.

Mr Conroy was at the centre of a separate boardroom coup attempt in 2017, when an investor successfully unseated six directors at Irish-headquartered Conroy Gold, of which Mr Conroy is also chairman.

The company was ultimately awarded all costs after winning a High Court battle against the dissident shareholder behind the move.

That case centred on a move by major shareholder Patrick O’Sullivan to obtain a declaration that he and two of his nominees had wrongly been blocked by Mr Conroy from being elected directors of the gold mining company’s board.

At an earlier emergency general meeting, the company urged shareholders to vote against resolutions to remove Mr Conroy and managing director Maureen Jones as directors. Those resolutions were defeated.

However, six out of board’s nine directors were removed from their positions, including Séamus FitzPatrick, Sorca Conroy and Louis Maguire.

All three are also board members at Karelian Diamonds and an attempt has again been made to have them – as well as Mr Conroy and Ms Jones – removed from their positions.